There’s an old baseball cliché that says you see something new at the ballpark every time you go to a game.
For those in attendance at Safeco Field Saturday night taking in the Toronto Blue Jays–Seattle Mariners contest, that old baseball-ism was definitely in effect.
As you can see at the top of this post, Blue Jays outfielder Jose Bautista managed to accomplish the remarkably rare feat of getting to second walk following a walk.
In the top of the eighth inning with Toronto leading 3-2, Seattle reliever Tony Zych issued a two-out walk to Bautista. Zych was visibly upset and turned his back to the Blue Jays slugger who instantly recognized the situation and took off for an easy stand-up swipe of second base.
The play was originally scored a stolen base. Before Sunday’s series finale, however, the ruling was changed to a fielder’s choice. The ruling is being reviewed. From Sportsnet’s Shi Davidi:
The play ultimately didn’t turn into any more damage done that inning, but the Blue Jays did come away with the 4-2 victory.
Oddly enough, as rare as what Bautista did is, for many at Safeco, while it was probably the first time seeing it done live, it may not have been the first time they’ve seen it done, completely.
It’s a known fact that many Blue Jays fans on the west coast travel south to watch their team play in Seattle, thus when they saw Bautista take off for second memories of the 2009 season may have flashed across some supporters’ minds.
On June 18, 2009, the Blue Jays were in Philadelphia for a ballgame. In the top of the third inning, Phillies starter Joe Blanton issued a lead-off walk to Marco Scutaro, who took first base then pilfered second thanks to Blanton’s inattentiveness and his own mad dash. Scutaro was credited with a stolen base.